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Diocesan Council

New Diocesan Area Structure

At their meeting on September 11, 2021, Diocesan Council voted to adopt the new proposed area structure by the Task Force formed and charged to "examine the current Area structure and make recommendations to Diocesan Council for updates and adaptations to the current configuration". Elections in 2021 will be for clergy in each of the six new areas. Click here to view a map and list of the changed areas and here to view an alphabetically list of congregations displaying the new associated area.  

Nominations Open for Clergy Diocesan Council Members 

In 2021, we are electing clergy members to Diocesan Council. Elections will take place at Town Hall on Tuesday, October 12 at 5pm prior to the 202nd Convention of the Diocese of Maine
If you wish to nominate a clergy person from your new Area, please check with that person for a willingness to serve before submitting this form:
Deadline to submit a nomination is Friday, October 1. If you have any questions, please contact Canon Barbara Martin

What is Diocesan Council? 

Diocesan Council is a decision-making body of the Diocese of Maine that is comprised of two elected members from each of the diocesan Areas.  The Bishop, who presides, is also a voting member.  The Bishop may also appoint up to four at-large members to help make it a more respresentative body.  The Chairs of the four diocesan commissions also serve on Council - and if there are commission co-chairs - they exercise one vote, though if present both have seat and voice.  The Chair of the Diocesan Council Finance Committee is also a full member. 

What does it do and how often does it do it?

Since the most representative expression of the Diocese of Maine meets only once a year at Diocesan Convention to make decisions about elected offices, the annual budget and resolutions, Diocesan Council serves as "the convention between conventions."  It generally meets four times a year.  At its September meeting considers and approves a draft budget for the upcoming year for Convention to consider in October.  It may also form task force and study groups to do the work of the Diocese.  It makes mid-year budget adjustments, and evaluates proposals for new ministry initiatives. 

What do our Canons have to say about Diocesan Council?

Of the Diocesan Council

(1) The congregations and the clergy of the Diocese shall be grouped in Areas in such number and manner as the Bishop and Diocesan Council, in consultation with the clergy and congregations, shall from time to time determine.

(2) There shall be a Diocesan Council composed of the following members:
The Bishop(s);
Two members, one lay and one clergy, representing each of the Areas of the Diocese;
The Chairperson of the Finance Committee; the Treasurer of the Diocese;and no more than four members appointed by the Bishop. 

(3) Selection of members shall be as follows:
a. In addition to the Bishop Diocesan of Maine, if there be any Bishop Coadjutor or Bishop(s) Suffragan, whose duties include service on the Council, each such bishop shall likewise be a member.
b. Each Area shall elect two members to serve staggered terms of two years. Each member shall be elected in accordance with procedures established or approved by the Council, either from the clergy of the Area, as eligible under Article III.3.1 of the Constitution of the Diocese of Maine, or from the lay members, who are communicants in good standing of their respective congregations within the Area. The names of those elected shall be communicated to the Bishop for review, and presented at Convention.
c. The Bishop may appoint not more than four members to the Diocesan Council at any time the Bishop may deem convenient, to serve until the final adjournment of the second Diocesan Convention held after their appointment. If there be no Bishop, the Standing Committee shall have the power of appointment.

(4) No person having served as a member of the Diocesan Council for six consecutive years shall be elected or appointed to the Diocesan Council until after the expiration of one year following the sixth year of service. For the purpose of this Canon, the period between annual Diocesan Conventions shall be deemed one year.

(5) Vacancies in the number of members of the Diocesan Council elected by an Area may be filled by the Area or by Diocesan Council. The appointing authority may fill vacancies in the number of appointed members of the Diocesan Council. In all cases such elections or appointments shall be for unexpired terms only.

(6) The Bishop or the Convener appointed by the Bishop shall preside at all meetings of the Diocesan Council. In the absence of both, the Council shall have the power to choose its own presiding officer.

(7) The Diocesan Council shall administer and carry out the work of the Episcopal Church within the Diocese of Maine, subject to such directions as the Diocesan Convention may give. Within 30 days of adjournment of the annual Diocesan Convention, Diocesan Council shall schedule and publish the dates of Council meetings for the ensuing twelve months; Diocesan Council shall, in advance of such scheduled meetings, make the proposed agenda available to the members of the Diocesan Council and to the Areas.

(8) At least six weeks before the date set for the Annual Diocesan Convention, the Council shall prepare an estimate of the amount of money required for the work of the Diocese during the next ensuing year -- that is, from January 1 to December 31. The Council shall determine and recommend to Convention the assessments required to carry out the ministry of the Diocese.

(9) The Diocesan Council shall establish a Finance Committee.

(10) In addition to establishing a Finance Committee, the Diocesan Council may establish such other commissions, committees, and task forces as it may deem advisable.

Council Members 2020-2021

Rev. Steve Summerson
Nancy Mooers
Rev. Lynn Rutledge
Rita Redfield
Chirstine Talbott
Rev. Ann McAlhany
Melissa Sparks
Rev. Nancy Moore
Rev. John Balicki
Tom Ward
Stephen Ward
Rev. Peter Jenks      
Rev. Suzanne Roberts
Fred Fowler
Holly Sargent
Rev. Gail Chandler  
Rt. Rev. Thomas Brown (Bishop)
Dick Rozene (Treasurer)
Rev. Lael Sorensen (Finance Chair) 

Executive Committee

Rt. Rev. Thomas J. Brown, chair; Rev. Cn. Nancy Moore, Vice-chair; Rev. Lael Sorensen, Finance Committee chair; Mr. Tom Ward, at Large to the Committee, Staff: Cn. Barbara Martin 

Diocesan Council Meetings 

December 3-4, 2021

Diocesan Council Minutes/Synopsis

September 2021

June 2021

March 2021

December 2020


143 State Street (mail to PO Box 4036) | Portland, ME 04101-4036 | Phone: (207) 772-1953 |